Laptop users who dont ever use external monitors at home

Misskitty

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 18, 2010
447
2
Is there anyone here who does this? Ive never understood how they can handle the small screens and very limited real estate. For instance a person I work with, has a 13" MBP and uses it for work and home 24/7. He brings it in everyday and takes it home everyday. Doesnt have any ext. monitors anywhere. I have a 13" as well and I can work off it here and there but definitely not for 8 hours a day, id get serious eye strain. The biggest drawback IMO is not being to multitask properly on a tiny limited laptop screen.

If I wanted to go the no monitor route, Id settle for nothing less than a 17" laptop despite the less portabilty...but it wouldnt be an issue to me anyways since the weight and size of laptops has really come down the past few years.

For those who do it, dont you miss the big screens that monitors offer? And what made you choose this route?

The ONLY reason and benefit i see coming from it is 1) cost 2) less clutter 3) One less thing to plug in and unplug everyday.
 

leman

macrumors G3
Oct 14, 2008
9,965
4,550
Together with spaces, the 1680x1050 is absolutely sufficient for me. If I need more space sometimes, I can always switch to 1920x1200. I have an external monitor at work but its only rarely used. I guess it all depends on what kind of work you need to do.
 

MCAsan

macrumors 601
Jul 9, 2012
4,527
410
Atlanta
If you don't need portability...get an iMac or Mac mini. More bang for the buck.

If you need portability and go for a laptop, each user has to decide if a monitor is worth the expense based on their budget, space, another of desktop time vs mobile time,....etc. Those are tradeoffs that each user has to make.
 

0007776

Suspended
Jul 11, 2006
6,474
8,051
Somewhere
I use an 11" MBA as my only computer and don't use an external monitor, before that it was a 13" MBA, and before that it was a 12" Powerbook, none of which I've felt a need to use with an external monitor. The screen is big enough, and I haven't felt the need to buy or go through the hassle of plugging in a larger screen.
 

stevemiller

macrumors 68000
Oct 27, 2008
1,704
1,136
I have a 27" at work and a 24" at home, and while nice, I can get by without them just fine. And I do animation! Maybe it's having experienced 320x200 dos prompts that makes me appreciate 1680x1050 a little more :p
 

leman

macrumors G3
Oct 14, 2008
9,965
4,550
By the way, one of the reason why I avoid using external displays is that they look horrible compared to the internal one of my retina MBP. I will only consider getting one once there are affordable 3840x2160 displays on the market, preferably under 24", which I can use in HiDPI mode.
 

Felasco

Guest
Oct 19, 2012
417
2
I've got my laptop hooked up to a 30 inch TV much of the time. I've been wanting a monitor this big for years, and the falling prices of flat screen TVs made it possible. Paid something like $250 for this one.

This might not matter for many younger users, but one reason to use a large monitor is to push the screen back away from your face so that you're not doing close focusing all the time, which can be hard on older eyes.

My TV is about six feet away, and raised to a level where I can work standing up. Not spending all day every day in a chair is working out better too.
 

lobo1978

macrumors 6502
Sep 22, 2011
336
222
My opinion

I used to plug to external monitor (24"). But I like this (which is really hard to explain) 'feeling' when I sit in from of my macbook. I do a lot of creative work and I'm more productive with only 13" Macbook (I had also 11" Air for 2 yrs) + I move around a lot.

I have also 27" iMac BTO sitting on the same desk which I use only for advanced projects (GIS/CAD/Omnigraffle/Paintshop etc.) or combine work on both computers - I run analyses on iMac and write on Macbook.

In my opinion using external monitor really kills the idea of portable computer (+ kills battery). Furthermore, to buy rMBP and then plug it to external monitor is just stupid. It's like buying a piece of art and cover it with some big, cheap photo copy.

When you use laptop with external monitor for 8hrs - buy iMac :p. You don't need portable computer.
 

Hieveryone

macrumors 601
Apr 11, 2014
4,147
1,470
USA
I use a 21" monitor from Dell, but some people especially teens don't need a big screen. They have better eyes than people in their 20s :cool:
 

b3av3r

macrumors regular
Dec 9, 2012
185
0
Louisiana
For the stuff I do, working with text, my 13" MBA is fine. However, I don't spend hours and hours non-stop working with it. If I stared at the screen for 5 - 6+ hours a day or if I did photo/video work I would definitely want a larger screen.
 

Ann P

macrumors 68020
Jun 29, 2009
2,309
9
California
I'm fine with my 13" MBP, never needed an external monitor. What do you mean you don't understand? People just have different uses. :)
 

kristenp

macrumors newbie
Jan 20, 2014
26
0
the problem with plugging in an external monitor using a rMBP is that the smaller rMBP screen looks so much nicer :D
 

Justinhub2003

macrumors regular
Jul 17, 2012
137
0
Cincinnati Oh
When I had a 13" MacBook Pro and had to work from home, I connected my laptop to my 23" HP Monitor.

However I've since ditched it for a Late 2013 15" Specc'ed out MBPr and also ditched the monitor too.

I ditched it first because my office is turning into a Nursery with a baby on the way but also because I didn't need it as much with the 15".

I should also say tho, I only used my 13" MBP with a monitor in closed mode with the TwelveSouth BookArc laptop stand. I hate 2 monitors.

Now I just work like the below:
 
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Barney63

macrumors 6502a
Jan 9, 2014
799
1
Bolton, UK.
Never used nor wanted an external monitor.
That's why I got a laptop.
I take it into the library at Uni, use it on the sofa in the living room and in bed at night.

Barney
 

pricej636

macrumors 6502
Mar 30, 2010
385
0
Colorado
By the way, one of the reason why I avoid using external displays is that they look horrible compared to the internal one of my retina MBP. I will only consider getting one once there are affordable 3840x2160 displays on the market, preferably under 24", which I can use in HiDPI mode.
This. I'm not paying for a 4k display and regular monitors look like crap compared to the screen on my rMBP. One of the main selling points for me to buy a new MBP was the retina, and I'm going to use it.
 

Traverse

macrumors 604
Mar 11, 2013
6,727
2,925
Here
When I had a 13" MacBook Pro and had to work from home, I connected my laptop to my 23" HP Monitor.

However I've since ditched it for a Late 2013 15" Specc'ed out MBPr and also ditched the monitor too.

I ditched it first because my office is turning into a Nursery with a baby on the way but also because I didn't need it as much with the 15".

I should also say tho, I only used my 13" MBP with a monitor in closed mode with the TwelveSouth BookArc laptop stand. I hate 2 monitors.

Now I just work like the below:Image
What is that number pad? I need me one of those!

And two the OP, I have a 15" 2011 MacBook Pro. For a year I used it only, the next year I had a small external monitor that I used occasionally. Now I have a 1080p monitor. My Mac remains docked in clamshell mode and I enjoy the space of the 1080p, but I only use my internal display for a second monitor if I am working on a big project and need PDF's, browser windows, and Excel/Word/etc. open at the same time, but I could easily go back to just the 15" with a little adjustment, I just wouldn't like it AS much.
 

Tsquare

macrumors member
Feb 10, 2008
87
4
I use a PC at work (Asus 15") and I have it hooked up to a 23" external. I use both screens all the time. I use Revit / AutoCAD so I can have drawing on one side and the tools on the other. I just ordered a 15" rMBP and will still use a second monitor for production. When at home and just web browsing or quick drawing I will not use a second monitor.
 

thundersteele

macrumors 68030
Oct 19, 2011
2,984
7
Switzerland
For three years I did use a 15'' high-res MBP as main work and home machine. At one of my work places I did have a TB display but most of the time I worked (and gamed) exclusively on the 15'' laptop. I didn't particularly like using the TB display. It made the MBP run hotter (and louder!), and would mess with the desktop layout etc.

The ability to just close the lid, move and continue where I left off minutes, hours or days later is nice. Connecting to an external always brings some re-adjusting, and having the same setup at home and at each work place wasn't an option (for various reasons).

These days I have a 21'' iMac at work, and use a 13'' rMBP and a 15'' MBP privately. At the moment I still prefer not having an external screen at home... that way I don't have to set aside a part of the home as "computer place." I never felt the need for an external screen on the 15.''
Having experienced all three, I have to say that I felt little difference between the 15'' and 17'' MBPs as far as mobility is concerned, but the 13'' rMBP feels like a whole different world. In addition to the lower weight (I even bring it on hikes...) the smaller form factor makes a big difference.

Given enough space, money and if I didn't have to move every few years, I would go for a Mac Pro at work, 27'' iMac at home and a 13'' rMBP for travel. Maybe in a few years...


As far as the initial question is concerned, I feel the first reply is the most accurate: Different people have different needs or preferences.
 
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AlanShutko

macrumors 6502a
Jun 2, 2008
642
46
I have a laptop so it can sit on my lap. I am not carting a monitor by the couch, to the chair by the bedroom, or to the porch.
 

Cassady

macrumors 6502a
Jul 7, 2012
552
124
Sqornshellous
I have two 23" monitors, at work and at home, in the study. Setting up consists of plugging in the power chord, and the adapter for the monitor. Not really much of an issue.

When I'm working/writing, I have Devonthink Pro Office open, with 20-30 of its own windows at any given time, Bookends, Scrivener, Finder, and Safari - running several tabs connected to online databases. I simply cannot imagine working nearly as effectively without the externals.

Of course, when I'm not working, then I use my 13" MBP as intended, i.e. a laptop.

But there's surely no right or wrong answer to this. Each to their own, depending on what they need to do...

One day will see a nice, fat 27" TB monitor at home. Ok. Maybe two. :)

In my world - bigger and more is better! ;)
 

simon48

macrumors 65816
Sep 1, 2010
1,315
88
I have a laptop so it can sit on my lap. I am not carting a monitor by the couch, to the chair by the bedroom, or to the porch.
You clearly have no idea how most people use a laptop with external monitors. You don't move the monitors, you use the monitors when you aren't moving and could use more screen real estate (like while working at a desk). When that's not the case, you just use the internal screen.